Cleft Palate

    Related Articles

    What Is Cleft Palate?

    A cleft palate is a birth deformity in which the palate (the roof of the mouth) fails to fuse along its midline before birth.


    Often the condition leaves an open space through the roof of the mouth into the breathing passages. Food and other foreign material may pass from the oral cavity into the nasal cavity through this defect, leading to chronic nasal inflammation and discharge. Excessive nasal secretion may be aspirated into the lungs.

    Affected puppies or newborns have difficulty eating and suckling and will not grow as quickly or as large as their littermates. Some pups with cleft palate that attempt to nurse may potentially, aspirate and die.


    It can usually be corrected surgically by a specially trained and skilled veterinarian.

    Susceptible Dog Breeds

    The defect is more common in the:

    Brachycephalic breeds such as:

    can have up to a 30% increased risk of this disorder. In the Brittany Spaniel breed, cleft palate is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.

    Video Credits: Animal Planet, Discovery Channel
    Image Credits: The Spruce Pets


    1. Cynthia M Kahn, Scott Line – The Merck/merial Manual for Pet Health
    2. Dan Rice, D V M Dan Rice. – Small Dog Breeds
    3. Mordecai Siegal – UC Davis Book of Dogs: The Complete Medical Reference Guide for Dogs
    4. Elwood et al. – Observations on the prevention of cleft palate in dogs by folic acid and potential relevance to humans.
    5. Richtsmeier et al. – Cleft Palate with Autosomal Recessive Transmission in Brittany Spaniels.


    Other Topics

    Mini Lops

    Overview The Mini Lop is a relatively new breed. It is similar to French Lop, but its mere...

    Sharp-shinned Hawk

    Overview The Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) is the smallest of North American accipiters, the dashing hawks that prey...

    Rowan and Rowanberry

    Overview Rowans in genus Sorbus are native throughout the cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. The genus Sorbus includes about 100...

    Northern Saw-whet Owl

    Appearance The Northern Saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) is a very small, earless, yellow-eyed owl, brown above, streaked with...

    Legg–Calvé–Perthes Disease

    Causes Of Legg–Calvé–Perthes Disease Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP Disease) is a congenital degeneration of the bone end that occurs...